Oyster Bay Guardian

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Oyster Bay Guardian
Oyster Bay Guardian is located in New York
Oyster Bay Guardian
Location of Oyster Bay Guardian in New York
Location 43 W Main St, Oyster Bay, New York, 2 Endo Blvd, Garden City
Coordinates 40°52′19.68″N 73°31′56.89″W / 40.8721333°N 73.5324694°W / 40.8721333; -73.5324694Coordinates: 40°52′19.68″N 73°31′56.89″W / 40.8721333°N 73.5324694°W / 40.8721333; -73.5324694
Built 1906
Official name: The Printery
Designated March 10, 1987

The Oyster Bay Guardian is a weekly newspaper, published in Oyster Bay, New York since 1899. Nelson Disbrow began publishing the paper then, and built a building to house his operations on West Main Street. While the newspaper has moved on to another building, their building on West Main Street still remains and today houses a commercial printing operation. Today the house is a Town of Oyster Bay Landmark and a featured site on the Oyster Bay History Walk audio walking tour.


So many buildings have changed over time either in their appearance or in the kind of business conducted, but this building, the Printery, allows us a view of the past coexisting nicely with the present. This cozy brown shingled building once housed the Oyster Bay Guardian, a weekly newspaper founded by Nelson Disbrow in 1899.

Disbrow had worked at several other New York newspapers, and first came to Oyster Bay in 1892 to work at our other local newspaper, The Oyster Bay Pilot. From 1899 to 1906 the Guardian had several homes, the first above a meat market on South Street and then in the Vail Building at 80 South Street. In 1905 the underhanded behavior of a rival newspaperman named Kennehan led the Disbrows to lose their lease in the Vail Building, and further pressure from their rival kept them from finding a rental anywhere in town.

Finally Nelson bought his own property here on West Main Street and in 1906 built the building you see today, continuing to print the weekly paper as well as run his private printing business. After his death in 1928 his son Leslie Disbrow continued the Printery, expanding the Guardian to eight pages instead of the previous four. After 68 years the Disbrow family sold the newspaper in 1967 to the newly formed Oyster Bay Publishing Company, a consortium of local women who elected Edwina Snow managing partner. The Disbrow family independently sold the Printery building to Elizabeth Schneider, who began her own endeavor as a private printer.

The Guardian newspaper had also been located at 32 East Main Street the former home of the grandparents of its Editor Emeritus Gloria O’Rourke who many may remember fondly for her colorful column called “Harbor Lights”. In 1999 the Guardian celebrated 100 years of continuous publication as an independently owned newspaper. They continue to report the weekly comings and goings of life in Oyster Bay to this day.

The Printery continues also, under the ownership of William Miller and Mary Abbene, and their print shop, complete with old hand presses and warped wooden floors is a rustic and charming highlight on our historic tour. [1]

In October 2010, Richner Communications, a publishing company that owns several small publications throughout Long Island and New York, including the Herald Community Newspapers and The Jewish Star, bought the Oyster Bay Guardian.[2]

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